Jul 1, 2011

Din: The Road To Becoming a Marathoner

1/26/2012 - I decided to complete this post rather than have it in 2 parts.

More than three months after running the TBR Dream Marathon 2011 (my first marathon!), when the euphoria has died down and the hustles and bustles of daily routine and work has taken over again, it is now the best time to look back and reflect on what led me to finish this great endeavor. Looking back will give me the insights (hopefully) to look forward and plan the next phase of my running activities.

The Decision
It was September last year that I made the big leap and decided to sign-up for the TBR Dream Marathon 2011. I was able to document what I felt back then here and here in making this decision. It was quite nerve-wracking since I felt I was not yet ready to take the plunge and run a marathon. In fact, my longest race back then was just a 16K!

What drove me though was the rising passion on running and the thought, "It is better to aim at the sun and hit the moon rather than aim at the moon and hit the rocks." Looking back, I thought, sometimes, there was indeed a thin line separating bravery and stupidity! =)

The Preparation
I learned that fear and uncertainty were great motivators. So much so that I took everything to the extremes especially my marathon training. I immediately worked on running half-marathon races. As a result, I ran two half-marathon races in two consecutive Sundays, the October Running Festival followed by the Adidas King of the Road.

You might be wondering, what were I thinking? Yeah, fear and uncertainty really makes you do stupid things. Great thing was I held back in these races meaning I did not race them until I "redline." I just considered them as "training runs." Most probably this was the reason why I did not incur any injuries.

Foolishly boosted by the "successes" in these two half-marathon races, I ran 3 more "challenging" (well from my standards) races in the two months after the Adidas King of the Road Race. These were:

Run United 2 32K

Corregidor Half-Marathon

Rizal Day Run 32K

All the while I thought I was doing something right when I successfully finished these races. I was even proud that I was ending 2010 with lots of confidence that I would be ready for the TBR Dream Marathon or even "I am now ready." Little did I know that I was setting myself up for disaster.

The Setback
I started 2011 with a bang by joining the Cebu half-marathon event. I was feeling great in the race that I decided to forego my run-walk strategy for the first time and ran the whole course non-stop!

Cebu Half-Marathon (I didn't noticed that the runner besides me was cramping. I only saw it after I downloaded the picture.)

I was on cloud nine because I considered this as a big achievement resulting from my training. Here came the start of the setback though. A few days after the race, I felt spent and wasted. I didn't have the energy or even the will to continue with my training. I was clueless on what was the cause of these challenges. As a result, for about a month, I was not able to rake in the necessary mileage indicated in my training program. Sadly though, I still had the bravado of thinking that I would post a much faster time in the Condura half-marathon event which was my next scheduled race after Cebu.

Condura Half-Marathon (This was near the 16km marker where I hit the proverbial "wall" and beca a walking mess afterwards.)

This was when I experienced the rude awakening. I ran Condura non-stop, just like Cebu, but I ran it fast from the start. Since I lacked the necessary training and mileage between Cebu and Condura, the outcome was already obvious. When I reached the 16km marker, I was already running out of steam. By the time I reached the 18km marker, I was running on fumes.

It was my first race that I felt very bad, physically and psychologically; that I just want it to be finished so that I could go home already. I felt really bad not because of the race (it was a great race) but because of my bad decisions.

A day of recovery did wonders to my spirit. I immediately set out to understand what happened to me.

After reading several articles, I thought I found the culprit. I peaked too soon! I was at my peak when I ran the Cebu Half-Marathon which resulted to my excellent performance.

This was potentially the result of running longer distances too early too soon. Looking back, I ran two 32K races one and a half months earlier that what was suggested in my training schedule. A big lessons learned indeed. I took heart though for this was a great lesson. It actually even energized me since I understood the cause of the challenges I encountered. It was a natural part of the cycle of peaking.

The Comeback
With these newly acquired knowledge, I set out to jumpstart my training to make the most out of the remaining 30 days in my training schedule before the big day. I was inspired and this could be seen from the mileage I racked.

The Race
A picture is worth a thousand words. What more if you have several pictures and a video to boot! As a result, I would let the pictures speak for the emotions and eventually the euphoria that I (and my batchmates) experienced before, during, at the finish line and after the race.

My lucky bib number which made me win a New Balance backpack bag in the TBR Dream Marathon send-off party raffle.

We were already at Nuvali around 12:30am. This showed how jittery and excited I was.

Less than 1 kilometer to go before the finish line. If you have noticed I used the Vibram FiveFingers Bikila as my shoes for my first marathon. I was not crazy. =D I will explain why when I review my FiveFingers shoes in a separate post.

Fist pump! All the pain you endured and struggled with especially at the last 10 kilometers of the race would surely disappear once you are 10 meters away from the finish line!

I read somewhere that only an idiot can finish a marathon. I proudly exclaim i am one now!

Another shot of the momentous moment.

With my #1 fan and the best support crew!

This summed it all!

There were plenty of "surprises" along the "killer" route.

This was the message at the back of our finisher's shirt and look at that kick-ass race medal!

This was the TBR Dream Marathon 2011 official video. Please check out the 12:13 section of the video. =) Enjoy!

Mar 22, 2011

Din: I Dreamt Big. I Ran Strong.

I read somewhere that only an idiot can finish a marathon. I proudly exclaim I am one now!

I'll be sharing the details that led me to become a marathoner in the next few days. I'll relish for now the remaining feelings of euphoria and hopefully be able to learn to walk properly again.

Mar 18, 2011

Din: This Is It!

Barely less than 48 hours to go and I will be running my first marathon via the TBR Dream Marathon at Nuvali. After going through more than 16 weeks of training, I am experiencing mixed emotions right now from excitement, to fear, to jitteriness and the intermittent doubts and then back to excitement again. It's an emotional roller coaster to say the least.

I am guessing (correctly I hope) that all marathon first-timers go through this stage. To calm my nerves, I just repeat, silently and sometimes out loud (when I'm alone of course!) that I can do this! I can do this! You already have a plan. Stick to the plan! Finish this and you can now proudly say, "I am now an idiot!"

Feb 18, 2011

Carrie: How I Finished My First 16KM

A good 2 weeks before the Condura Skyway Marathon I was invited by my hubby to join him and other TBR 2011 dreamers for a 90min run at BGC, of course I said yes and eagerly hoped for a good run.

On that beautiful Saturday morning, I told hubby that if I could not carry on with the group's pace, I will just run on my own and just do my thing. Little did I know that people who joined the running session will be divided into 3 categories (run continuously, 9min run/1min walk and 4min run/1min walk) the announcement got me excited since hopefully I will not be running alone after all, though I secretly hoped that the group that I joined will not be running fast. I positioned myself at the end of the 4-1 group and was joined by Vic, a TBR dreamer. A few minutes before the run we were joined by Jaymie Pizarro, TBR herself (Jaymie assigned herself as the day's sweeper), lucky for us! Introductions were made and the run officially started.

I had a great time running with Vic and Jaymie, so much so that we got lost from our group. We didnt realized that the group took a left turn and we look a straight path. All the same, we chatted our way through the meet up point and finished a good 4+km and surprisingly maintained my most comfortable pace (8:45-9). After a few minutes rest, we resumed running and made it for another 4+km sans Jaymie who exchanged places with Lit Onrubia.

After the training session, I continued running for another 2km with hubby, all the while telling him of my experience and wonderful conversations with Vic and Jaymie. I told him that I never did imagine that I could converse with fellow runners while running and the many running advices Jaymie shared, one which is so important is to follow the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run method. I used to do run/walk/run strategy but run for 1km then walk for 10secs. I always get tired early on. Though this method got me through all of my 5km and 10km races, I was afraid that it may not get me through with 16kms. Oh and by the way, my Saturday morning session with the TBR dreamers will not be complete without another special moment. Finally I was able to meet Reylynne Delapaz, the runvocate. She was the pacer for our 4-1 group. Reylynne and I shared a few medical alarms with thyroid diseases. But that is under the bridge now, mine got removed a few years back so no worries.

One week before Condura, I altered my game plan and incorporated Jeff Galloway's run/walk method. But instead of a 4-1, I opted for a 5-1 instead. One minute additional running time wont hurt at all, I thought.

On Condura day, I felt good and inspired. I vowed to stick to my new game plan of 5-1 (run/walk/run) method plus I told myself to better tackle the route I will brisk walk the Amorsolo flyover and the Kalayaan flyover and will resume the run/walk method after. I had the best time of my life while running the Skyway. My plan worked to perfection! And I am happy to share that I made it with an official time of 2h 24min 47sec with an 8:54 pace, strong, no injuries and very very happy.

Thank you Jaymie for all the insights that you shared. I most probably be miserable if I continued on with my 1km run and 10secs walk strategy.

Feb 12, 2011

Din: The Runner's Creed

This is my run
There are many others like it
But this one is mine
My run is my haven
It is my life
I must master it as I must master my life
Without me, my run is nothing
Without my run, I am nothing
I must run this road's true
I must run faster than the stress of the world that's working to drag me down
I must outrun stress before it overruns me
I will
I swear this creed
My run and I are defenders of my sanity.
We are the master of my body
We are the saviors of my life
So be it
Until victory is mine, and nothing remains
But peace.

Jan 4, 2011

Din: Looking back at 2010

Reading through my first blog post last March 2010, I could not help but assess the progress I made within 10 months after I decided to change my lifestyle. I could not imagine that I was able to transform myself from a couch potato to a runner! I felt that this was the best accomplishment I made in 2010.

I have listed below the results of this accomplishment which I hope will serve as a constant reminder to myself to never let go and lose focus again of this great lifetime endeavor. I also hope that it will serve as an inspiration to the readers of this blog that with the right attitude and right reasons, it is indeed possible to transform yourself from a couch potato to whatever you want to be.

Health Results:
  • I lost more than 25 pounds. When I started running last February, my weight was almost 180 pounds, making me about 20 pounds overweight. I now weigh 154 pounds which is already within my ideal weight zone.
  • With the weight loss naturally came the reduction in my waistline. I am proud to say that at least 5 inches were "sliced off" from my tummy. The only downside was I needed to change my pants since they kept on falling off already.
  • Gone were the dizzy spells I intermittently experience due to my high triglyceride level. Because of running, I was able to normalize my triglyceride levels.

Running Results:
  • Seven 5Ks, Seven 10Ks, One 15K, One 16K, Three 21Ks, Two 32Ks and currently training for my first marathon this coming March, The TBR Dream Marathon 2.
  • In the book, Runner's World Complete Guide to Running, one article immediately resonated to me and I thought the advice it provided really made sense. The article, in page 21, entitled It's Good to Walk, discussed the advantages of incorporating the Galloway Method in running. As a result, I immediately incorporated this method in my training as I progressed from 5K up to my current training program for a marathon. This method made my training more enjoyable and from my experience, more effective. It was one of the primary reasons why I became a stronger runner and only experienced a minimal number of running-related injuries.
  • I learned to listen to and respect the limitations of my body. Actually I learned this the hard way by experiencing my first and, so far, only running related-injury last June 2010. This was caused by running to fast, to far, to soon. Quite a lethal combination unfortunately. It was a humbling experience since I was unable to train for 2 weeks and was very disappointed since I had to postpone my plan of joining a half marathon race.
  • I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the following Filipino runners and triathlete for the stories and running tips they unselfishly shared. These provided me and Carrie with best practices and lessons learned that we were able to apply in our training. It is my hope that they will continue sharing their experiences and love for the sport. Rest assured that in return, we will pay this forward by sharing our own experiences  to all those who are starting in the sport.
  1. Bald Runner
  2. Life is a Highway
  3. Running Pinoy
  4. Running Shield
  5. The Bull Runner
  6. The Runvocate
  7. The Scientist Runner
  8. The Sweat Addict 
  • Lastly, I would like to share my latest running summary from Endomondo. I know that my personal bests could be considered by seasoned runners as "average" but looking at where I came from, I look at these times with pride and exclaim, I did good.

Jan 2, 2011

Din: Good Sign

I had my first run for 2011 this morning and I was extremely happy with the result. I was able to beat my Adidas KOTR Half Mary PR by more than 5 minutes considering that this was just a training run.

I deemed this to be a good sign of what is in store for me this year. This made me very excited for the upcoming Cebu International Marathon this Sunday, January 9, where I would be running the Half Marathon. I have a target pace in mind based on the results of my long run today and I am already giddy with excitement to check if I can achieve this target.

Bring it on 2011! =)